India hold Europa


The match also marked Bhutia’s regular strike partner Sunil Chhetri’s return to competitive football after a long lay-off due to an ankle injury.

Chhetri, who last played in the Santosh Trophy for Delhi in May, came in the second half in place of Sushil Singh and played till the end of the match.

Bhutia, who had a flurry of shots at the rival goal in the 70 minutes he played, gave India the lead in the 31st minute but his side were denied a victory as Alberto Padilla converted a spot kick in the 71st minute.

Both the sides made some good moves early into the game but the Indians slowly took control and had at least three good scoring chances but could convert only one.

As early as in the 13th minute, Bhutia attempted a diving header inside the Europa box off a Steven Dias cross from the right but the India skipper failed to connect it to perfection and straight headed to the rival goalkeeper.

The Indians were rewarded for their incessant attack in the 31st minute with the captain himself scoring.

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